photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 03 April 2019

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The Boy with a Fake Smile Finds Fame in China

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • fake: not genuine
  • gecko: a type of lizard
  • go viral: to be shared by many online
  • meme: online media (usually humorous) that is reused, adapted, and shared by many

The Boy with a Fake Smile Finds Fame in China

An eight-year-old boy from Minneapolis has become famous in China with his cute, fake smile and funny . Gavin Thomas was first discovered back in 2014 when his uncle placed a gecko on his head and a video of his reaction online. A series of similar videos of Gavin became popular in China and soon of “the boy with a fake smile” went viral. As some of his fans have described, Gavin’s expressions are used to describe feelings that Chinese people are polite to say themselves. Gavin now has over 1.5 million on Weibo and has even visited China to meet some of his fans.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Gavin Thomas?
  2. Why does the report mention a lizard?
  3. What does this child help Chinese people do?

Discussion Questions

Memes have become both a language and an art. Do you follow and understand memes? What makes them difficult to understand?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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